Higher education

Universities in the Netherlands

Higher education

Since 2002, the Netherlands use the Bachelor and Master system for their higher education, which means that the degrees can be compared internationally. This makes it easier for people from other countries to have their degree recognised in the Netherlands.

If you would like to study higher education (Hoger Onderwijs/HO) in the Netherlands, you should contact the institution you would like to attend. The most important requirement for admission to a Bachelor program is a secondary-school diploma at the correct level. To be able to attend a Master’s degree program, applicants must have at least a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. In certain popular courses, the number of students is limited and restrictions apply.

Higher professional education (Hoger Beroeps Onderwijs/HBO)

An institution where HBO education is given is called hogeschool. Students go there to get a Bachelor’s degree and sometimes it’s possible to get a Master. This prepares the students to start work after their studies and usually takes 4 years to complete. Requirements for this are that the student has at least a HAVO (secondary education) degree. Higher professional education can be combined with some form of work, so students can attend part-time.

University education (Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs/WO)

Students who go to university in the Netherlands go there to receive a Master’s degree. For entering a university, you need a VWO (secondary education) degree. A university education is imperative for anyone who wants to do independent research or solve scientific problems. University education can be combined with some form of work, so students can attend part-time.

English universities in the Netherlands

Students who wish to study higher education in the Netherlands in English have the possibility to choose between more than 2,100 study programs available. There really is a wide selection of degrees that are recognised in the Netherlands and abroad.

Foreign students have to be able to speak, read and write English. They need to pass an English language test. IELTS and TOEFL are commonly accepted, but some institutions might accept other tests. You need to get at least a score 550 (paper based) or 213 (computer based) for TOEFL. For IELTS you need a score of 6.

Anyone who wants to study in English higher education in the Netherlands can find more information on the system, degrees, curricula and diplomas on the NUFFIC website (Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (www.nuffic.nl ).

University fees in the Netherlands

Higher education in the Netherlands is not free. The tuition fee for a degree programme is 1,700 euro for EU-students. This does not include books or other costs related to studying. Bachelor and Master programmes tuition fees for non EU-students are usually higher than for EU-members.

Student grants

In the Netherlands there is a system of student grants (studiefinanciering) where the student receives money from the government to pay for their higher education studies. There are many different rules about who can and who can’t apply for this. If you’re a regular student to a recognised education in the Netherlands and have the Dutch nationality or have a certain residence permit then you can receive about €300 per month to pay for your studies. More information can be found on the website of IB-groep (www.ib-groep.nl ).

Further reading

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